Glenn Hoddle says he’s unsure Arsenal have seen Mesut Ozil’s full potential following the 32-year-old’s departure from the Emirates Stadium, and also bemoaned how he went from a “wonderful” player to one who “took his foot off the pedal”.
Ozil has joined Fenerbahce after agreeing with the Gunners to terminate his £350,000-per-week contract early, and will officially be unveiled as a Fenerbahce player imminently, according to the Daily Mail.
The 2014 World Cup winner had been with Arsenal since 2013, when he joined the Gunners to much fanfare in a £42.4million deal from Real Madrid, and clocked up 254 competitive appearances, registering 44 goals and 77 assists.
However, Ozil endured a nightmate end to his time in North London, being axed from Mikel Arteta’s Premier League and Europa League squads having last played competitively for the Gunners in March last year.
“When he first went to Arsenal I thought he was a wonderful player who you could build a team around,” Hoddle wrote in the Evening Standard.
“He was energetic and was prepared to push himself and make runs in behind. That went out of his game and I think the last two or three seasons he has changed his game. He just wants to play with the ball to his feet all the time.
“I admired him so much, certainly playing for Germany and when he went to Real Madrid, when he was making runs into the penalty area. He was one of the best players in the world. He sees pictures that other players do not see.
“I cannot speak for him, I do not know why he took his foot off the pedal and in games wanted the easy way to play football. It is a shame. I am not sure Arsenal have seen his full potential.”
And so, the Ozil saga has come to an end – it’s a shame that such a high-profile player, who arrived at the Emirates to such fanfare and had the potential to become a club legend, has left in such an unceremonious way.
Opinion continues to be split amongst the fanbase – some fans are glad to see the back of him, while others are gutted he’s left, particularly in such an anticlimactic way, but really, it looks as though it’s best for all parties.